AN OFFICER had a “fear of repercussions” if he had reported his colleagues for making dozens of derogatory and offensive remarks, a police misconduct hearing has been told.

Detective Constable Sol Koranteng was a member of staff at the Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) North office at the Northern Police Investigation Centre, based in Basingstoke, at the time when his colleagues were recorded making racist, homophobic and sexist remarks.

DC Koranteng - who is not accused as part of the case – was often subjective to racist abuse, the proceedings have claimed, by other officers in the unit.

On one occasion it was joked that he had been flown to England from Africa in a crate, having been stolen from Africa, where he was taken to London Zoo before being taken to Lincoln – all the while as a song is sung to the tune of Buffalo Soldier with the words ‘stolen from Africa, brought to America’ substituted with ‘stolen from Africa, taken to Lincoln’.

Today (Wednesday) the Detective Inspector in charge of the unit Tim Ireson, who now retired, was questioned about his leadership failings including recognising the bullying which DC Koranteng was subjected to.

In a statement made during the investigation DC Koranteng said he had a “fear of repercussions” if he challenged or reported the unit’s behaviour.

Jason Beer, on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary, said that DC Koranteng learnt to “adapt and not to say things in order to survive at the organisation” and when he was made aware of the comments he said he “made a mistake by not challenging such behaviour”.

Mr Beer speaking to Mr Ireson said: “Have you read about DC Koranteng directing his focus on what were the really important things in life. If he thought about them (the comments) he would be weighed down.

“Have you read about that he thought he made friends in the British police service having come from a former British colony. He was extremely proud.”

The proceedings have also raised concerns about the relationship between Mr Ireson and Detective Sergeant Gregory Willcox, who joined the force together in 1993.

It has been argued that Mr Ireson did not manage DS Willcox appropriately and allowed him to use offensive language.

Trainee Detective Constable Jean Englefield, who joined SOCU in November 2014, said during the investigation: “This whole situation has arisen through poor leadership…[the] culture in a team derives from its leaders and [DS Willcox] was the leader of the team. [Mr Ireson] was the DI and he allowed himself to be led by DS Willcox and did not set the tone correctly when he joined the team.”

When questioned Mr Ireson said that there were “positive and negative aspects” to having a friendship with DS Willcox.

He added: “That is something I considered and thought about. How do I ensure I am fair that I don’t allow any favouritism to one officer over another?”

The officers facing the serious gross misconduct charges are Retired Detective Inspector Tim Ireson, Detective Sergeant Oliver Lage, Detective Sergeant Gregory Willcox, former PC Craig Bannerman, trainee Detective Constable Andrew Ferguson and PC James Oldfield.

The hearing continues at Hampshire Constabulary’s headquarters in Eastleigh.